Thursday, May 28, 2015

B. Traven Jr.

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" Better to reign in Hell, then to serve in Heaven . . ."
                                                                                     --John Milton, Paradise Lost

  I had chased Rupert Murdoch and his little puzzle box on foot through the rainy, late night streets with a blaster in one hand and Clive Barker's new novel The Scarlet Gospels (9781250055804) 26.99 in the other.  I saw him disappear around a corner which I knew was a dead-end alley.  Finally, my archenemy was within in my grasp.  Oh, and by the way, B. Traven Jr. here.

  As I drew up to the alleyway entrance, I saw a flash of light, I heard the jingling of iron chains, and the most horrific scream that I have heard in several lifetimes.  I stumbled and nearly fell to my knees from the pure unadulterated agony in that scream.  Up and down and up and down, it rumbled on like a roller coaster.
  I peeked around the corner.  Like a fly stuck in a spiderweb, Rupert had been lifted off his feet and was held in the center by jagged metal hooks and chains.  The chains writhed around him like a nest of vipers.  The hooks had ripped into his soft flesh; blood dribbled down his body and the shredded remains of his clothes.  On the walls, images of books by Rupert's minions had been etched into the brick and were still smoldering along their red hot lines.  A perfect fascimile of Bill O'Reilly's Legends and Lies (9781627795074) 32.00 was on one wall and directly across from it was an image of Dana Perino's And The Good News Is . . . (9781455584901) 26.00.


  However, my eyes were fixated on one thing.  And one thing only.  An otherworldly creature who stood in front of Rupert, dressed in a gleaming black leather outfit.  I believe Clive Barker described it best in The Hellbound Heart (9780061452888) 11.95:  It's voice . . . was light and breathy -- the voice of an excited girl.  Every inch of its head had been tattooed with an intricate grid, and at every intersection of horizontal and vertical axes a jeweled pin driven through to the bone.  It's tongue was similarly decorated.

  It spoke, "Ah, B. Traven Jr, the illustrious Assistant Exarch for Media Permutations.  At last, we finally meet."
  Even though this demon was nearly twenty feet away,  I could smell the acrid brimstone upon its breath.  It was nauseating.
  Crap.  I knew I should have read more Clive Barker.
  Trying to keep the rising bile down in my throat, I ventured, "Who are you?"
  He answered grimly, "I am Lord of the Cenobites.  And the High Priest of Hell.  I had been summoned by your friend when he opened the box of the Lament Configuration.  And now, he will get what he truly deserves."
  Rupert continued screaming, but now it seemed more like a mere annonyance, like a mosquito buzzing in your ear.  I was growing lightheaded, but I managed to say, "He's not my friend, but I would not wish this upon my worse enemy.  Let him go and I will see justice done . . ."
  As I passed out and slumped down to the cold pavement, I heard it say, "Sorry, he comes with me.  He will learn to mourn his humanity."
Odds & Sods
"B-b-bird, bird, bird and the bird is the word."  Spring is here and the birders are birding.  And if you're in Minnesota, the snow will be melting soon  and the bird book that birders will want is The Birds of Minnesota State Parks (9780975433881) 19.95 from the Minnesota DNR.  Now if you're in Minnesota but not in a state park, and you still want a bird guide, then I would recommend Stan Tekiela's The Birds of Minnesota Field Guide (9781591930372) 12.95.  Bird!


I was saddened to learn that John Forbes Nash, Jr. was killed in a car accident with his wife on Saturday.  Mr. Nash was a Nobel winning mathematician, who was featured in the bio A Beautiful Mind (9781451628425) 18.00 by Sylvia Nassar.

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